European Reading Challenge 2013 Wrap-Up Post

In order to complete the challenge, I need a wrap-up post, so here it is.   I enjoyed this challenge and am definitely doing it again.   It helps get me out of the U.S. and England where 95% of my reading seems to be.   I joined late in the year so that’s why some of my books are a little on the short side.   I’m going to need a while longer to get through Ulysses.   And My Name is Red, which I’m completely bogged down in.   It is not speaking to me.   In fact, I find it a real chore.  I have no idea if I’ll keep going, if at some point I’ll get into it, or it will lay in the ash heap of unloved lit.  It started off pretty well, with the body in the bottom of the well explaining how he was murdered.   Now we need to find out by whom, but it’s sooo sloow.   I think the best character is probably Esther the letter carrier.  Everyone else is tedious.  The book like a bunch I’ve read lately has numerous narrators (Moonstone, Luminaries, Ulysses), but goes further by switching off not just among people, but among things, like a coin, and Death.  This is somewhat entertaining and yet, also seems to be more a device than helpful.   I’m not sure if the coin or the drawing of the tree had anything useful to say.   Then again, it’s taking me so long to read, if they did I’ll have forgotten before it’s relevant.

The thing, too, about all these challenges, except the European Reading one, is they last the length of the year.   Books started last year don’t count, so finishing it (and others) has to be in spare time left over from reading all the 2014 books.   This is a drawback, but not enough of one because I think these challenges have me reading more and reading more interesting stuff.   Yes, there’s still a lot of cozy mysteries, but mixed in with those have been Graham Greene, Evelyn Waugh, and Ernest Hemingway.

Thanks, Rose City Reader, for hosting this challenge in 2013 and 2014!   Looking forward to more European Reading this year.

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